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Post-mortem: Bama ended up mostly meeting expectations

Post-mortem: Bama ended up mostly meeting expectations

Alabama mostly met expectations this year, in regards to what kind of team it put on the field. In respect to what it accomplished, Alabama probably exceeded expectations. TideFans.com projected Alabama to capture the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff (behind No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 Oklahoma and ahead of No. 4 Clemson), but with a regular-season loss to LSU in the mix. When LSU overreacted to an early losses to Wisconsin and Auburn, though, and fired Les Miles, the chances of LSU beating Alabama mostly evaporated.

Clemson wrap-up: Tide loses a heartbreaker on 2 controversial TDs

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Clemson wrap-up: Tide loses a heartbreaker on 2 controversial TDs

Alabama’s bid to win a second straight national championship fell short thanks to a combination of injuries, a lack of depth on its defensive line that finally came to a head and the struggles of a true freshman quarterback who seemed to run out of gas a bit down the season’s stretch.

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Clemson preview: Tigers look for revenge, Tide looks for continuity

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Clemson preview: Tigers look for revenge, Tide looks for continuity

The same dynamic exists this year as last: Clemson will use a talented dual-threat quarterback to trigger an offense that has its roots in spread football and tinted by pro-set alterations, while Alabama will base from a multiple, pro-style attack that has been dabbling with the spread.

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In the end, the ending was so Lane Kiffin

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In the end, the ending was so Lane Kiffin

The marriage between the management styles of Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin always seemed to be one of the shotgun variety, even if Saban himself had his hand on the trigger. Saban knew he needed to move on from traditional offensive methods – without getting so far away from them that his teams drifted into gimmick territory – and Kiffin was both attractive and available.

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Washington recap: Ugly win sends Bama to title game

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Washington recap: Ugly win sends Bama to title game

Alabama will get the winner of Ohio State-Clemson next, which will provide someone a rematch opportunity. If Clemson is the opponent, Alabama will need to figure out how to get better production in the passing game. The Tigers are not nearly as easy to shut down offensively as was Washington, thanks to Deshaun Watson’s higher-quality skill set.

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SECCG wrap-up: Bama keeps destroying one-dimensional teams

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SECCG wrap-up: Bama keeps destroying one-dimensional teams

Alabama’s resounding victory over Florida on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game did several things: It extended Alabama’s win streak to 25 games, its SEC championship strength to 3 years and ended any speculation of what the College Football Playoff committee might do in the event the Crimson Tide lost this game.

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SECCG preview: Hobbled Gators are living on a prayer offensively

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SECCG preview: Hobbled Gators are living on a prayer offensively

There is a lot of familiarity between these two teams, thanks mostly to Florida hiring former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain as head coach, who subsequently attracted former Bama staffers Doug Nussmeier, Geoff Collins and Chris Rumph. The end result is that Alabama will have a hard time surprising Florida, and with the Gators’ defense a tough customer, expect this one to be close at least until the final quarter. Alabama will need to force Florida to make mistakes in order to avoid a low-scoring stalemate.

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Auburn wrap-up: 2016 becomes “Kick Five” game as AU is locked out of the end zone

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Auburn wrap-up: 2016 becomes “Kick Five” game as AU is locked out of the end zone

Alabama made a barely competitive game close for a half thanks to its own mistakes, which included two interceptions and a rare horrid punt from J.K. Scott that put Auburn in business just outside the red zone. The halftime score of 13-9 served as an effective wake-up call for an Alabama team that mishandled the ball on six other first-half plays – in addition to the two interceptions – and Alabama didn’t wait long to put its foot down on the gas pedal in the second half.

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Auburn preview: Tiger defense will keep AU in it

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Auburn preview: Tiger defense will keep AU in it

Depending on how deep one’s crimson blood runs, news Monday that initial Las Vegas lines were coalescing around an 18-point spread in Alabama’s favor could either be considered easy money, or a sucker’s bet.

Analysis of the two teams suggests the latter, especially if Alabama’s earlier game against LSU this season is any indication. Alabama and Auburn will meet at Bryant-Denny Stadium – where Alabama has been effective lately, but not historically, against Auburn – but the key issue is not the venue, but the strength of an Auburn defensive line that is a clear step above the LSU line that gave Alabama fits earlier this month.

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UTC wrap-up: Alabama didn’t want to be here, and it showed

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UTC wrap-up: Alabama didn’t want to be here, and it showed

Alabama didn’t bring its A-game against Chattanooga Saturday – or its B-game, or its C-game.

What Alabama brought was good enough to win, but not good enough to keep Nick Saban from peeling the paint off the locker room walls at halftime.

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